- The Washington Times - Monday, June 22, 2009

Is this the end?

“We’ve been dealing with this for a long time,” says Kate Gosselin in the latest clip from tonight’s hourlong “Jon & Kate Plus 8,” airing at 9 on TLC.

By “this” we can assume she means the cracks in their marriage.

The scene is a bit of mini heartbreak, notes Zap2it.com. It centers around the installation of some “crooked houses” — basically outdoor playhouses for the children — and the couple’s disagreement over where they should be erected. That ordinary-sounding problem, though, is a key to the fundamental gap that’s opened up between the two.

“People think I’ve changed,” Jon Gosselin says in the scene. “I have changed.”

Says Mrs. Gosselin in a separate interview: “We’ve been dealing a long time with this.”

The implication in the editing is that Mr. Gosselin’s change in attitude (and his actions of late) have led to the problems.

Meanwhile, things appear to be changing for Mr. Gosselin rather quickly. People.com and the New York Daily News are reporting that he’s been apartment-looking in Manhattan — in Trump Place on the Upper West Side.

Bravo, TNT shine

TNT’s nurse drama “Hawthorne” got off to a fairly good start June 16, but last Tuesday’s standout was Bravo’s “The Real Housewives of New Jersey,” which went out with a bang, Variety notes.

The table-flipping season finale of “Housewives” delivered the hot franchise’s best ratings to date, standing as Tuesday’s top-rated program among young adults. Also clicking on cable was Discovery Channel’s “Deadliest Catch,” which tied for the demographic’s lead in the 9 p.m. hour.

According to Nielsen nationals, “The Real Housewives of New Jersey” averaged 3.48 million viewers overall, becoming the network’s top-rated Tuesday telecast among advertiser-prized viewers between 18 and 49 since “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” in 2003.

Factor in the additional 1.13 million viewers who watched an encore at 11 p.m., and Bravo says it’s the largest same-night audience for a “Housewives” telecast to date.

Moreover, it was the night’s No. 1 program in the demographic, edging out repeat crime programming on broadcast networks CBS and NBC. And in its own 10 p.m. time slot, “Housewives” more than doubled the delivery of first-run dramas on TNT and ABC.

Bravo knows it has a good thing in “Housewives,” Variety notes. The network has scheduled four original episodes of reunion specials and extended footage with the Jersey girls; the first aired Thursday night.

Meanwhile, over at TNT, the Jada Pinkett Smith’s medical drama “Hawthorne” bowed at 9 p.m. with 3.83 million viewers overall. Although not huge, it’s a better showing in the 18-to-49 demographic than January’s bow of “Trust Me” or the 2007 launch of “Heartland.”

The ratings numbers are even more impressive since “Hawthorne” got little help from lead-in “Wedding Day.” The Mark Burnett reality show attracted 853,000 viewers overall — easily TNT’s lowest-rated bow in years.

Fowl play

Hell hath no fury like a chicken lover scorned, as evidenced by a lawsuit filed by consumers who are apparently still miffed about KFC Corp.’s free chicken giveaway.

According to TMZ.com, James Asanuma just filed the complaint on behalf of KFC fans everywhere, saying the chain’s May giveaway — promoted on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” — was nothing short of a scam to deceive its customers into spending more dough.

The lawsuit, filed Thursday in Los Angeles County Superior Court, says KFC promised everyone “2 pieces of grilled chicken, two individual sides and a biscuit.” However, the promotion on “Oprah” turned out to be so popular they couldn’t meet the demand.

The complaint says that because KFC couldn’t dish out the food as promised, they were forced to give vouchers for free food in the future. The suit says this “bait and switch” caused customers to incur “travel costs, paper and printing costs, postage, the money they spent on other food items at KFC on visits when they had intended to redeem the coupon — and the loss of the value of the promised Meal.”

‘Break’ for Hallmark

Cable’s Hallmark Channel is implementing Fast Break, a format that allows a single advertiser to sponsor a commercial pod, Variety reports.

The concept is supposed to help an advertiser’s message break though the commercial clutter.

During a film’s first commercial break, a 10-second spot will announce the movie is being sponsored by a specific company. Immediately following, a 30-second spot will run from that company. Normally, a commercial pod can run four minutes or longer.

Following that first break, commercial pods will return to their normal length, with multiple advertisers.

“Clients are increasingly concerned over the amount and length of commercial pods on television, and this endeavor will provide greater awareness and return on investment for our clients,” said Bill Abbott, president and CEO of Hallmark Channel.

Fast Break will premiere Tuesday through Friday during the 9 p.m. movie. Mutual of Omaha will be the initial sponsor, Variety says.

A night for Iran

With tensions continuing about the recent elections in Iran, two cable networks will take a look at the country tonight, both past and present, and will examine its relationship with the West.

Scheduled:

Iran and the West (9 p.m., National Geographic) — A documentary look at the inside story of America’s turbulent relationship with Iran over the last three decades — including America’s botched Iranian hostage attempt in 1979 — as told by a number of key participants including former President Jimmy Carter; Iranian Presidents Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and Mohammad Khatami; and their top advisers.

The Daily Show in Iran (11 p.m. Comedy Central) — Correspondent Jason Jones reports. According to the New York Times, the reports were taped over 10 days in late May and earlier this month ahead of the June 12 Iranian elections.

Compiled by Robyn-Denise Yourse from staff, Web and wire reports


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